National Consumers League

National Consumers League statement on White House action on data security

October 17, 2014

Contact: Ben Klein, National Consumers League, benk@nclnet.org, (202) 835-3323

Washington, DC – The National Consumers League (NCL) today applauded the Obama Administration for its action to address the need for great data security protections for consumers’ sensitive information.

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director:

As the number and magnitude of data breaches pile up, it is clear that more must be done to address the vulnerability of consumers’ personal financial information. When consumers’ data is compromised, real harm is done. Whether it be due to missed payments when debit or credit cards are canceled or the increased threat of identity theft, consumers pay the price when their data isn’t sufficiently protected.

That is why we are extremely pleased to see the White House today release its Executive Order on data security. As a major early adopter of chip and PIN card technologies, the federal government can help spur adoption of this more secure method of payment. We are also encouraged by the Administration’s collaboration with businesses to increase consumer access to credit scores, identity theft monitoring and resolution support tools. We are encouraged to see many pro-consumer businesses like Visa, American Express, and MasterCard, partnering with the Administration to take positive steps towards better protections for consumers and we look forward to working with the White House and these businesses to strengthen consumers' data security.

Finally, we look forward to being a part of the forthcoming Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit. As we have highlighted through NCL’s #DataInsecurity Project, the hacking threat is one of the great consumer protection challenges of our time. By convening stakeholders to address this problem at the highest level, the Administration can begin to tilt the data security playing field back in consumers’ favor.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.